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The Wild Rose Action Shooters recently hosted their 3 Gun Provincials on August 25th and 26th in Spruce Grove, Alberta, and there were 12 exciting stages with a 400 –500 round count. 3 Gun matches feature competitors firing rifles, pistols and shotguns, and as a result, they are one of the more challenging and entertaining events you’ll find in action shooting sports.

The stages at the Provincials were long and challenging, and several had over 50 rounds each. There were plates, moving clay birds, swingers, turners, moving targets, breaching doors and much more, making it one of the most memorable 3 Gun shoots to date.

“My favorite stage was the last stage with the outhouse and our pistol in the briefcase,” competitor Trevor Welder relayed. “Having to shoot slug from inside the outhouse, breach a door, shoot clay and steel from one knee, retrieve our pistol from a briefcase and having to hit two targets on a back and forth swinger pushed me to my limits. On a personal note, as a new shooter, WRAS has been extremely friendly and supportive, and I’m so glad I took the leap from spectator to participant!”

“Excellent match and really enjoyed the chance to shoot at longer ranges than normal,” said match director Sam Brownfield. “I wish we could do 200 to 300 meter shoots all the time. The two day format allowed a good mix of stages, and a chance to shoot with one type of firearm and then reshoot with another. It also allowed for a balanced mix of stages and shooting styles. With a round count of over 300 minimum rounds for both days– and most of us shot a lot more– the match was challenging and entertaining.”

Veteran competitor Ken Kupsch took top spot and was followed by Todd Klinger and Ian Jones. Ken and Todd’s teams were also at the top which earned them new Glocks and Ranch Hands compliments of the Wild West Shooting Centre in Edmonton. The Wild Rose Action Shooters also gave out 10, $200 gift certificates via a random draw for the Wild West Shooting Centre, making this one of the top shooting prize tables in the country.

“I think what draws myself and others to 3 Gun is that it takes into account almost all aspects of action shooting sports,” said Jones. “It forces you to practice everything and not just focus on one discipline. 3 Gun goes from fast paced “hoser” stages to long distance accuracy, but probably the most difficult to master is trying to reload the shotgun while on the clock. The big thing for me is that I don’t think I’ve ever walked off a stage without a huge grin on my face.” “It’s great to see so many people out shooting,” Jones furthered. “The fact that just about every weekend in Alberta, you can find at least one competition, attests to the fact that action shooting sports are gaining popularity. Also it’s great to see local business sponsoring matches.”

The next Wild Rose 3 Gun match will take place September 15th. On August 18th and 19th, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Alberta held their 3rd and 4th qualifiers in Brooks, Alberta, and had the same winners both days. Winning the Open division was Ken Kupsch, Ryan Cady took Production, the Standard division went to Scott Penner, and Ivan Runions won Classic. Qualifiers five and six will take place in Spruce Grove on September 8th and 9th.

“Brooks always puts on such a great match!” Joe Breslawski noted. “The “32 special”, as it’s called, is one of the highlights of shooting IPSC in Alberta. It is pretty hard to say which one would be the best of the stages at the match, but the uniqueness of the trolley stage makes it one of the premier stages. One of the highlights of IPSC is the thinking that the course of fire requires – “what you can do” versus “what you should do”, then after, “what you wanted to do” or “what you should have done”. This makes IPSC a “chess game with a handgun”, as you have so many different options of planning your approach. It keeps your mind sharp and active.”

“The Brooks 32 round special is the best qualifying match of the year; 32 rounds per stage and 12 stages you can’t beat that,” noted competitor Todd Ondrik. “Stage 4 was definitely the most exciting stage to shoot on the weekend. Shooting at a kart travelling down a ramp is very challenging, especially after running a long distance between shooting positions. This is the type of a stage you would see at a Provincial or National Championships.”

“The thing to remember about shooting through a tube is to get into the correct position to engage your first target,” Ondrik advised. “In addition, you need to remember to stay back a couple of feet avoid the blast from a compensator, especially when you shoot a 357 sig.” As Fall nears, there is plenty of more Steel Challenge action coming, including competitions October 6th and 7th at the Buffalo Target Shooters Association near Calgary http://www.btsa.ca/sc/.

Steel Challenge matches involve shooting at an array of five steel plates, one of which is the stop plate that must be hit last. Competitors shoot each stage five times and their slowest time is thrown out. One exception, however, is the “outer limits” stage, where you shoot four strings but count your best three. This is the only stage where the shooter moves while they’re shooting, and it’s one of the more difficult stages of the competition.

“Having the “Steel Challenge” at the Homestead Shooting complex is going to be one of the highlights of 2012 for the Buffalo Target Shooters Association (BTSA),” Breslawski said. “About 10 years ago, the BTSA did allot of Steel plate shooting at the Steve Johnson Range in Calgary. Due to the city growing around the range that program was suspended, so our club has not had any steel plate shooting of this nature for years. We are looking forward to bringing this exciting sport back for our members and guests. The goal is to have the Steel Challenge become a premier event in the 2013 season for the shooters in southern Alberta.”

“The BTSA is enjoying its first year on the new action ranges located on the APRA Homestead complex,” Breslawski added. “We put a lot of work into getting the ranges ready for the 2012 season, and producing what I think is a great set of shooting programs, including the IPSC Provincials. We would like to thank all the volunteers that have made this first year on the new ranges a success. “The Buffs” are looking forward to an action packed 2013!”

G.O.A.T. PR (www.goatpr.com)